Zayn Malik knew from a “really young” age that he wanted to do “something unique and worthwhile” with his life.

The 31-year-old singer – who shot to fame when he auditioned for ‘The X Factor’ in 2010 and became a member of One Direction – was initially driven by a desire to help his family have a better quality of living, but as his personal ambitions grew, he wanted to be able to see the world.

He told Big Issue magazine: “I do remember being really young, probably seven or eight years old, and deciding that I wouldn’t spend my entire life in my hometown. I wanted to do something unique and worthwhile.

“My original nod towards the start was that I wanted my parents to have a better house. We lived in a rented property our whole upbringing and I wanted to give them a better quality of living. So that was the original intent behind it, and then when I got to about 17 or 18, I wanted to forge my own path, write my own story and go out and see the world.”

Although Zayn – who has three-year-old daughter Khai with ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid – now lives in Pennsylvania in the US, he is a “very Northern man” who is extremely influenced by his upbringing in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.

He said: “I always initially knew how much Bradford had influenced me, even when I came to London to do The X Factor. I was instantly introduced to many different characters that I had not come across before and quickly realised that my personality and the way I am is very Northern.

“Now as a 31-year-old man, after living in America for ten years, I’ve definitely come to terms with the fact that I’m a very Northern man, which heavily influences my personality and decision-making on a daily basis.

“It dictates every decision I make and is something I can’t escape, it’s heavily imprinted on me.”